There have been a lot of fashion trends over the years when it comes to fitness. From tracksuits to skorts to thong leotards (why, lord, why?) – there have been plenty of “misses.” Fortunately, leggings are a home run.
Whether the boom of yoga or just a quest for compression is to blame, leggings have become ubiquitous when it comes to “athleisure” and legit workout gear. Leggings blend function and fashion to keep you comfortable and looking good while you sweat. There are leggings for all body shapes and ways to wear your leggings for every personal style.
The downside is that leggings have gotten so popular that it can feel as though you’re burdened with an infinite number of ways to wrap up your stems in lycra. On the upside, since fashion brands have caught onto the fact that women love leggings there have been more (and better) options than ever before.
Read on to learn about features to consider to make you comfortable, help you move freely, and get through your workout to the best of your ability.
While everybody likes to look good, when every muscle in your lower body is busy lifting a barbell how you look is the last thing on your mind. Not to mention, you can’t afford to be worried about your clothes when you’re supposed to be focused on your mind-muscle connection. That’s why performance is first on our list.
Leggings can actually provide many important functions besides just cloth on your lower half.
First – and, trust us, we’ve lived through this mistake so you don’t have to – don’t wear fashion leggings to the gym. They’re not as sturdy or thick. Also, you aren’t often bent in funny angles during day to day life as you are at the gym. Fashion leggings simply aren’t built to withstand a workout. Popping a seam mid-set or wondering if your fabric is too sheer is no fun at all. Athletic performance fabric is worth a few extra dollars.
Avoid leggings made of cotton for your workout. They show sweat very easily and don’t dry as quickly. Hello, chafing! Opt for a quick-drying, sweat-wicking material like a nylon-poly blend instead.
Want the best in performance workout leggings? Check out the Women’s UA Meridian Workout Leggings from Under Armour.
If you’re working out in cold climates, then you can opt for winter tights. There are plenty of options out there with thicker double knit fabric and insulating features to help keep you warm.
Some people swear that the compression of leggings helps with circulation and support. Some don’t. Whether or not leggings actually make your muscles work harder or your blood pump better, they sure as heck do one thing – they keep your thighs from rubbing together. There’s nothing work than that itchy chaffing feeling as you run or go through your workout. Also, you won’t accidentally flash anyone during a deadlift (thanks a lot, jogging shorts).
We work out to feel healthy, strong, and build our best body. You deserve to look and feel good while you do it! Leggings show off your fit legs and glutes without showing skin.
When choosing a style, priority number one should be what you like. If you feel sexy as heck in capri length floral print leggings, then rock those beauties! The info in this section are some general guidelines to help you pick the most flattering pair of leggings for you, but your personal style comes first.
If you’re looking for some guidance, here are some helpful guidelines.
The “one-style-fits-all” winner of the leggings world is the 7/8 length style. These are universally flattering.
High waisted leggings are fantastic for everyone as far as we’re concerned (no risk of plumber’s butt here), but they’re especially great for any women who like extra support around their tummy.
If you’re all legs, full-length leggings can balance out your bottom half. Leggy ladies can also pull off capris in style. Lucky gals!
If you have legs on the shorter or thicker side, then bootcut leggings can help elongate the legs. So can slim fit 7/8 length leggings.
A word to the wise for those who like bootcut or wide-leg leggings: these styles are not ideal for plyo moves. If your workout of the day includes things like box jumps, then the extra fabric can get in your way. Opt for slim fit styles instead.
When it comes to colors, solids are generally more slimming. Prints can add volume and also distract from areas you feel self-conscious about. Most importantly, follow your eye and wear what makes you feel strong.
…a Note About Modesty
Not everyone is comfortable putting a silhouette of their legs and booty out there for the world to see. We get it, and you have to be comfortable to give all your focus to your workout. That doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your love of leggings. Here are some tips:
- Wear shorts over your leggings. You can layer a pair of shorts over your leggings for some extra coverage around your glutes and thighs.
- Wear an oversized t-shirt. An oversized tee can be super-comfortable and cover your upper legs.
- Tie a long-sleeved tee or sweatshirt around your hips. This covers your bum and masks your front.
Remember that whatever style of leggings or other workout wear you choose, the most important thing is that you’re comfortable physically and mentally. Don’t feel pressured to wear a style you’re not on board with and don’t be shy about wearing what makes you feel like a badass! We say, if it seems to work for you then keep on keeping on!
Some photos are property of Nike, Inc.
- This website is not affiliated or associated with CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.